US approves $253m sale of MD 530 aircraft to Kenya
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential $253m foreign military sale of MD 530 aircraft to Kenya.
Under the sale, Kenya requested 12 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior weaponised aircraft to replace the ageing the fleet of MD500, which is the current reconnaissance platform supporting the nation's ground forces.
The sale also covers 24 heavy machine-gun pod systems, 24 M260 rocket launchers, 4,032 M151 rockets, 1,536 2.75in M274 smoke signature warhead rockets, and 400,000 rounds of .50-calibre ammunition.
In addition, the Government of Kenya seeks to receive communications and navigation equipment, contractor logistics support, training, US Government technical assistance, airframe and weapon system spare parts support, contractor field service representative support, and specially assigned airlift mission flight delivery support.
The procurement of equipment and technical support is expected to advance the Kenyan Army’s modernisation efforts, as well as increase interoperability with the US Armed Forces and other partners in the region.
The proposed sale will contribute to the US's foreign policy and national security by helping Kenya, which is undertaking critical operations against al-Shabaab, and a troop contributor to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
MD Helicopters will serve as the principal contractor for the sale, which will improve Kenya’s efforts to conduct scout and attack rotary wing aircraft operations in support of their AMISOM mission.
The MD 530F helicopter can be deployed in tactical, reconnaissance and transport operations, as well as to carry out airborne law enforcement, executive and personnel transport, air medical services, search-and-rescue (SAR), firefighting and other public safety missions.
This 9.8m-long aircraft can carry a useful load of 684kg and an external load of 979kg, and has a fuel capacity of 183kg.
Image: MD 530F Cayuse Warrior Scout attack helicopters. Photo: courtesy of MD Helicopters.